The Wednesday morning episode of “Live With Kelly And Ryan” took an awkward turn when Kelly Ripa made a comment that seemed as if she was making light of the sexual harassment allegations made against Ryan Seacrest.
During the show, Ripa pointed out Seacrest was hosting the show without shoes on and offered to help him out. “Sweetie, do you want me to put your shoes back on for you?” she asked.
“You don’t mind, do you?” Seacrest asked.
“I’m a mom, I can do that,” Ripa replied.
Seacrest then explained his shoes were too small, and he had trouble putting them on. As he stomped around the stage, attempting to force his feet into the shoes, Ripa was seen calling to someone off camera, asking if they had a team that could help Seacrest with his wardrobe dilemma.
While the conversation seemed like typical banter between the friendly hosts, Ripa’s words coincided with a controversial incident that allegedly took place between Seacrest and his ex-stylist, which had some wondering if it was a comment on the situation.
Former E! News stylist Suzy Hardy accused Seacrest of sexually harassing her for years while they worked together, according to Variety.
After initially being hired by the network in 2007, Hardy claimed that the alleged sexual misconduct didn’t end until 2013, when she reported the behavior to executives and was terminated.
After it was revealed the television personality allegedly harassed the stylist, a former male co-worker of Hardy’s came forward. The individual told NBC News he witnessed Seacrest attack the stylist on numerous occasions, with one time in particular involving when she helped him with his shoes.
“She would go to tie his shoe and Ryan would shove her head toward his crotch,” he told correspondent Kate Snow.
However, on Tuesday, Seacrest accused Hardy of trying to get him to pay her in order for her silence, and denied the allegations made against him.
“This person who has accused me of horrible things offered, on multiple occasions, to withdraw her claims if I paid her millions of dollars. I refused.,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.
“I have worked extremely hard to achieve my success and I don’t take my opportunities for granted. I don’t want to accuse anyone of not telling the truth but in this case, I have no choice but to again deny the claims against me, remind people that I was recused of any wrongdoing, and put the matter to rest,” the star said in his statement.
Seacrest has not publicly addressed the allegations against him while co-hosting the show alongside Ripa.